The merger of iPad and television took another step forward with the release of ABC's My Generation Sync, which is the first iOS app to synchronize live with a TV show -- specifically, My Generation, coming this fall from the network that's owned by the company with Steve Jobs as its biggest shareholder.
If you've ever been a "Nielsen Family," you've had a box installed in your house that sends data on your viewing habits back to the Nielsen corporation. It works by monitoring a program's unique "audio watermark" emitted by your TV; human ears can't detect the sounds.
The My Generation Sync app uses the iPad microphone to check for these same audio signals during episodes of My Generation, and syncs the app content to the program segment. This approach lets it work (theoretically) with programs played back in 'timeshifted' DVR mode, as well.
Once synchronized, the app will display polls, trivia, games and more in real time, all related to the show, without providing spoilers. It sounds like a lot of fun and we'll have a full review soon. Imagine what this sort of technology could do paired up with Monday Night Football or election returns. The future is now!